The Ultimate Backpack Buying Guide

The Ultimate Backpack Buying Guide
15/03/2018 sam

Strap in for a guided tour through our selection of feature-filled and eminently stylish backpacks

Dashing around town, heading to the gym, hiking in the hills or getting away for the weekend?

Backpacks have well and truly matured from student attire to fully functional accessories.

Our backpack selection is a huge focus at Bear & Bear, we favour the versatile, the functional and the downright dashing. A backpack is the ultimate everyday companion and we’ve put together a selection for this buying guide that will stand the test of any journey.

With a strong emphasis on robustness and innovation, we stock a strong range of specialist backpacks. Whilst they vary in style; they can all handle the stress of fast-paced city life or the most vigorous of adventures.

In this buying guide we break down some of the best choices depending one what you might be using your backpack for.



Selected specifically to take the stress and hassle out of your daily commute, be it on a bike or the trusty (not so trusty) underground. Here are three bags that have the potential to improve every working day of your life.


The CoPilot Backpack from Henty is the ultimate backpack if you cycle into work.  Its impressive design allows you to transport a suit (or other work attire) as well as a laptop, gym gear and any other everyday carry essentials without compromising comfort. The masterpiece of this backpack is the crease-free, full-size garment bag that rolls up around the removable 18L tube duffle.

Featuring a large main compartment that has been designed with a front load, full-length zipper for easy, non-crease packing. This superb commuting bag features an ingenious separate shoe compartment that now has excellent, odour-eradicating ventilation. Multiple internal organisational pockets are present plus a quick-access accessory pocket located on the top of the bag for all of your everyday carry items such as your phone and wallet.

At 22l this backpack is a great size for daily use.  Designed by Carryology specialists Bellroy, it is perfectly suited to both more corporate or creative environments. It has a separate laptop compartment and quick access pockets for tech necessities. It is streamlined with a classic silhouette that contains a wealth of features.


Weekend Breaks

These vessels have been carefully designed for a great weekend escape. Each one packs in some ingenious features that will make your trip a breeze. Just don’t forget your phone charger.

Designed to be used as both a duffle bag and backpack, Alchemy Equipment’s water-resistant 45L Carry On is a great choice for weekend trips and smaller adventures. Designed using Heavy ATY Nylon, waxed Kodra and 3x PU coating on 900 denier Kodra nylon, this carry on has been purposefully crafted to handle the stress of any journey with incredible durability. Internally you have a fantastic 45L compartment with an external separate 15” laptop pouch with a self-ejecting mechanism.

Made from Heimplanet’s Dyecoshell fabric, designed to be hard-wearing and weatherproof. It features a completely openable main compartment for easy packing. There is also a 15″ laptop sleeve and an additional iPad compartment. The bag has double entry on the top and sides for easy access. Copious amounts of storage compartments and pocket spaces to be found internally and externally.

The Travel Pack 2 is an impeccably designed bag that will revolutionise your travels. It has been engineered specifically with carry on functionality and efficiency in mind. The main compartment features a clamshell opening allowing you full access to the interior. A separate shoe compartment has been integrated, isolating any odours from the rest of the bag with additional ventilation.


Exploring the Great Outdoors

You don’t have to be a seasoned adventurer to appreciate the focus on durability and functionality of these pioneering companions. These backpacks have all the trimmings needed for a serious hike, but with streamlined good looks to boot.

Filson have once again delivered in terms of attention to exceptional craftsmanship and functionality for their latest roll-top pack. It is incredibly durable and water-repellent, constructed from 22oz rugged twill and 15oz oil finish tin cloth. These high-quality fabrics and the exceptional construction means it will withstand a lifetime’s worth of exploration. As with all their bags, Filson offer a lifetime guarantee.

The all-new Freerain24 from Matador is the ultimate stowable backpack for long adventures, serious strike missions and hikes. Designed to be ultra-light, the Freerain has been crafted with coated, water-resistant rip-stop nylon that’s as hardy and durable, as it is lightweight. All of the hardware used has been designed with siliconised waterproof coating, leaving no weak link in the durability.

The Smith 18L from Millican is a roll-top daypack that’s perfect for the active commuter. Millican has made this bag from a tried and tested mix of cotton (38%), recycled polyester (57%) and high tenacity polyester (5%). It features reinforced grab handles, meaning this bag lives up to the Millican aim of a bag with a lifetime guarantee.


Streamlined Silhouettes

If you’re looking for something sleek that doesn’t cut back on features, then these are for you. All these slim backpacks have all been thoughtfully tailored to minimise size whilst retaining internal volume.


The Alva backpack by Sandqvist is constructed of robust 18oz cotton canvas and vegetable tanned leather. This sophisticated and functional bag is a superb everyday essential with an interior 13” laptop and iPad compartment and a large interior for all your gear.

The all-new Slim Backpack is the ultimate everyday backpack. It features a large main compartment and an abundance of multi-use organisational pockets. The main compartment is perfect for all of your larger items with the addition of a 15” laptop sleeve and smaller organisational pockets. You will also find soft-lined accessory pockets ideal for sunglasses and small items.

The Backpack Mini is the smaller version of the Backpack original. It has a contemporary and refined design with a simple quick-access single magnetic hook secure closure. Its clean aesthetic makes this an ideal everyday backpack.


You can view our full collection of feature-filled backpacks here. If you need any assistance making a decision then get in touch and we’d be happy to help. We do love match-making people with their perfect bag.